I imagine the title gives it away. Yep, it's another rant. If you don't like rants, look away now. I'm going to be the Grinch for a few minutes.
Are you still here? Well, then, here's the rub: no one shuts up anymore. It seems that respect and courtesy are outmoded, meaningless words and paying attention died long ago.
We've all experienced the transient annoyance of waiting in line at the store, unwillingly listening to a one-sided conversation as someone chats on their cell phone. And these days parents are well acquainted with the hassle of prying a teenager out off a cell phone long enough to ask about school.
But the epidemic is worse than that. It's everywhere, and it's driving me nuts. Daughter plays in the school band, and while I'm glad she does and I encourage her and enjoy listening to her play, I actually dread the school concerts. The grown-ups, who presumably are the parents that should care about what the kids are doing, talk constantly. It seems their conversations and phone calls can't wait the four minutes until the song is over. Not only that, but they let the younger children run up and down the bleachers, thumping and banging and giggling and making it impossible for a parent to videotape the concert.
Earlier this week we drove all the way to the city to attend a professional symphony orchestra concert. You know, the kind where you pay money for a ticket, and a maestro with a baton waves his arms at the violins. Even there, people talked through the music. A group of five or six young men in their twenties sitting a few rows behind us just couldn't stop discussing what they did that day. At least there I was able to speak to an usher during the break, and she was able to correct the situation.
And the one that bothers me the most? The behavior of some of my fellow church members. Since when is it ok to stand in the back of the church and talk during the sermon? And why wouldn't you turn off the ringer on your cell phone before the service starts? Bah humbug!
So I'm sending out a heart-felt plea to everyone: please, please, stop and think and show some respect! Try listening for a change. Here's the way I was taught it should be: when you attend a concert, do not talk during while the music is playing. If you must leave your seat for some reason, do so only between songs. If you come back from the bathroom and the band is playing, wait quietly in the doorway until the song is over, and then return to your seat. When you go to church, sing the hymns, join in the prayers, and listen to the sermon. There's plenty of time to visit and catch up after the service! And for crying out loud, leave the cell phone out in the car!
It's only polite to behave appropriately, it's not really so hard to do, and it will improve the experience for you and definitely for everyone around you.
And if you don't, the grumpy middle-aged woman glaring at you is probably me. Let's not meet that way!